5 May 2014

Nigeria: Report Claims Boko Haram Has Benefited From U.S.$70 Million Overseas Funding

The deadly militant sect, Boko Haram, has received over $70 million from overseas between 2006 and 2011 to organise its campaign of violence, a media report has said.

The report, which quoted retired Major Chris Moghalu of the US military, also claimed that the sponsors of the insurgency in Nigeria were closely linked to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). It noted that in the collaboration with AQAP and AQIM, members of the militant sect had been receiving regular support in cash and kind to maintain the momentum of their sporadic attacks across Nigeria from the two foreign terror groups.

Quoting Major Moghalu, it said trans-national criminal activities including kidnapping for ransom, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and armed robbery were being used by Boko Haram militants to raise funds to plan and execute attacks in the North-east, an area which has been under constant campaign of violence of the deadly sect.

Though the activities of the violent sect had substantially been restricted to the Northeast, two recent bomb blasts in Nyanya in the outskirts of Abuja, have shown how daring the group had become.

The first bomb blast at the Nyanya motor park claimed 75 lives, while the second bomb attack around the vicinity last week claimed 20 lives.

On a visit to the general hospitals in Asokoro, Maitama, Wuse and Gwarinpa districts where victims of the blast were receiving treatment, FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, called on relatives of those killed in the attacks to come forward and claim the corpses of their loved ones deposited in the various morgues.

He attributed the appeal to the fact that all mortuary facilities in the hospitals had become overstretched.

He said the FCTA was ready to provide logistic supports such as free ambulance service to convey the remains of the victims of the attacks to any part of the country for burial.

He also disclosed that the FCTA had reached agreement with the police authorities for the release of the victims' corpses. When asked whether government would compensate families of the victims, he said no decision like that had been taken by the government.

A statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Minister on Media, Mr. Nosike Ogbuenyi, also said Secretary of Health and Human Services of FCTA, Dr. Demola Onakomaiya, had earlier told the minister that while many of the corpses from the first blast were yet to be claimed by relatives for burial, all the 20 corpses in the second blast were equally lying in the various mortuaries.

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